Set just a 10-minute walk from Sydney’s Central Business District, Darling Harbour brings visitors a great selection of dining options and fun activities. At Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf you can get stuck into the vibrant nightlife, where there is a collection of lively nightclubs, bars, and bistros, and elsewhere, you can explore Sydney from different perspectives, browse beautiful displays in the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and learn about the history of Sydney’s harbour-side region.
Things to do in Darling Harbour
Australian National Maritime Museum
Spend a couple of hours learning all about the maritime history of Sydney at this fun and fascinating museum. Browse the numerous exhibitions that recall stories from past sailors and their adventures, read all about the pivotal navy battles and wars, and delve deep into ancient saltwater traditions, modern beach culture, and narratives of migrants travelling the seas to settle on Australian shores.
Chinese Garden of Friendship
For some peace and quiet amongst the bustle of city life, head to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. This secret garden provides a space to breathe, where you can marvel at beautiful flower arrangements and manicured lawns. But this garden is so much more than flowers and plants. It recreates the harmony of a traditional Chinese garden, complete with mesmerising waterfalls, picturesque lakes, tropical plants, and impressive pavilions that are tucked away down winding pathways. When you’ve watched the koi carp frolicking in the lakes, grab a Chinese tea and dim sum at the on-site Teahouse for the ultimate relaxing experience.
Take a Cruise
One of the best activities to do at Darling Harbour is to take a cruise along the river and explore Sydney from a different perspective. When you take to the water, you can discover landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge up close while learning more about the magnificent structures that characterise the city.
Soak up the Culture
Darling Harbour is a hive of cultural activity. As well as regular festivals and events that take place there, you can also sample some of the local delicacies and international fare in the plethora of restaurants. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and cocktail haunts to hang out in, too, all of which offer spectacular views over the harbour at night, with twinkling lights and the promise of the unknown.
Darling Harbour is a fine example of Sydney’s vibrant personality, and is well worth a visit during your time in the city.